The 30th Anniversary Landmark Edition of TimberTrader News celebrates the rich history of the monthly magazine that has become part of the fabric of the Australian timber industry and also recognises the many hundreds of people and businesses who have graced its pages over the years. This article is part of Greg King’s impressive 30-year chronicle.

Over the years, we’ve noted the deaths of many influential people. If I commented in these pages about every obituary the number would probably stretch to a couple of hundred. I haven’t done so for a number of reasons. I expect people to read these annual offerings a few years at a time and, if it seemed I’d concentrated on deaths, readers would soon close the book.

There are a few exceptions, and this is one. Our January edition had an article on the life of Maurice Sterland who died on December 3, 2007, in Gosford (NSW) at the age of 82. Maurice was a visionary and a major influence in the development of the fabrication industry in Australia and was believed to be one of the first Australian manufacturers of roof trusses using the Gang-Nail system. He was also responsible for the development of a software package that he shared with his competitors because he believed if every business knew their actual costs they would be able to compete on an equal footing in the marketplace. Maurice was a fascinating man who left a large footprint in our industry.

May saw a report on the devastating fire, causing many millions of dollars worth of damage, at the Rosebury (south eastern Sydney, NSW) head office and merchant facility of Swadling Timber & Hardware. Owners Danny Gattone and Gianna and Colin Swadling told us the company was fully insured and all records were backed up off site on a daily basis. The fire ignited at 6.30am on Monday, March 31.

June was the official program for Frame 2008, held at the Sofitel Hotel, Melbourne. The event’s principal sponsor was MiTek with Hyne and Pryda taking the roles of major sponsors. More than 280 people attended the two-day event opened by well-known financial personality and economist Peter Switzer. We followed this up over the next few editions with photos and reports from the event that had the theme “The Next Decade…”.

During the year I continued to interview people for my series of Publisher’s Notebook offerings. These included Peter Hyne, Hyne (Qld); Marilyn McCormack, Crown Timber (Vic); Tom Donohue, Australian Timber & Trusses, Nerang (Qld); Peter Hutchison, president of TABMA (NSW) and state manager for MiTek Australia; John Hayden, AKD Softwoods, Colac (Vic); and Graeme Smith, Graeme Smith Agencies, Moorabbin (Vic).

Profiles in 2008 included: father and son Frank and Jamie Sharp, Trussworks, Salisbury South (SA); Vladimir (Samo) Samovajska, Sammo’s Prefab, Shepparton (Vic); Kelly Bradley, with father Frank Pinner, of Arbor Truss & Framing, Arbor (WA); Jim Philcox, Philcox Timber Trading, Gillman (SA); Robert Polley, Polley Timber, Geelong (Vic); Scott Leith and Daryn McGregor, Total Truss Systems, Ballarat (Vic); David Eldridge, Ridgewood Timber, Port Adelaide (SA); Maurice Mondolo, Trussframe, Tamworth (NSW); Mark Hull, MCM Frame & Truss, St Marys (NSW); Glenn Tilling, Tilling Timber, Kilsyth (Vic); Matthew Rey, Timberperfection Floors, Thomastown (Vic); and Debbie and Phil Bourke,
Macarthur Frames & Trusses, Campbelltown (NSW); and John Walker, Belmont Timber, Fairfield (NSW).

There was a new Chief Executive Officer of TABMA (NSW). Colin Fitzpatrick started with the organisation on February 4 and by our March edition he’d contributed his first offering for our “˜Association News’ section. Other contributors in this section that month were Rod McInnes, Timber Qld; Michelle Mottershead, FITEC; Brian Beecroft, TTIA; Glen Kile, FWPA; Emma Watt, TMA; and Michael Hartman, Forestworks.

This seemed to be a year of relative inactivity as there were few industry functions, only the occasional golfing event and, apart from Frame 2008, not too much general industry education or launches. It really marked the change of the way the industry did business and the concentration on the processes required to keep businesses viable.Look back at the events of 2007 or continue reading about 2009.